Faith

Longevity ensured

The Chandogya Upanishad gives man a life span of 116 years and gives instructions how one can ensure that one enjoys the full span.

A person’s life is divided into three periods, which correspond to the morning libation, noon libation and evening libation. A man should see his life as a yajnya, said M.K. Srinivasan in a discourse.

When he does the morning libation, he recites the Gayatri mantra.

This mantra has twenty four letters and takes care of the first twenty-four years of his life. Vasus are the deities of the morning libation. In case one is unable to do the morning libation due to illness, one should pray to the vasus, requesting them to carry over the morning libation to the noon libation, without a break, so that the yajnya is not broken in the middle.

The mantra recited for midday libation is in Trishtup metre, which has forty four letters. Rudras are the deities for this libation. This libation should be seen as covering the next forty-four years of one’s life. In case the midday libation cannot be performed, then one should pray to the Rudras to carry over the morning libation to noon, without a break in the yajnya.

The mantra for the evening libation is in Jagati metre, which has forty-eight letters. Adityas are the deities for this libation. If this libation is not performed, then one should pray to the Adityas that one’s life should be extended to the end of one’s span of life.

The third libation covers the remaining period of one’s life span up to the 116th year.

Thus the Upanishad says one should see life itself as penance and recite the prescribed mantras. This confers longevity on a person.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 11:47:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/longevity-ensured/article17413175.ece

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